Health Experts Know that ADHD is a Very Common Condition
Behavioral health clinicians say that ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is the most common behavioral disorder that starts during childhood. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 4.4 million children aged 4 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD in the USA by a healthcare professional. If you are concerned that your child might have ADHD it is important to learn the common signs and symptoms.
Common ADHD Symptoms in Children include:
1. Getting distracted easily and forgetting things often
2. Switching too quickly from one activity to the next
3. Having trouble with directions
4. Daydreaming too much
5. Having trouble finishing tasks like homework or chores
6. Losing toys, books, and school supplies often
7. Fidgeting and squirming a lot
8. Talking nonstop and interrupting people
9. Running around a lot
10. Touching and playing with everything in sight
11. Being very impatient
12. Blurting out inappropriate comments
12. Having trouble controlling emotions
These symptoms are often observed in all children and usually do not mean that a child has ADHD.
It is when these symptoms become significantly more pronounced in one child as compared to his/her peers, and when his/her behavior undermines success in school and social life, that a diagnosis of ADHD may be considered.
ADHD cannot be diagnosed physically, i.e. with a blood test, urine test, brain scan or a physical check up. An ADHD diagnosis must be carried out by a specialist – usually a psychiatrist, psychologist or developmental pediatrician. The specialist will observe the child and behavior patterns gained from data regarding the child’s behavior at home and at school.
Only a specialist will be able to accurately detect whether other problems and/or conditions are resulting in ADHD-like behavioral characteristics and will be able to classify the correct ADHD subtype. Professionals used to differentiate between ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD, but ADD has now been replaced with three subtypes under the ADHD umbrella; Inattentive, Hyperactive-Impulsive and Combined.
Inattentive ADHD Symptoms
The Predominantly Inattentive child finds it very difficult to organize or finish a task. They find it hard to pay attention to details and find it difficult to follow instructions or conversations.
Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD Symptoms
The Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type child finds it hard to keep still – they fidget and talk a lot and may be continually jumping, running or climbing. They are restless and impulsive – interrupting others, grabbing things and speaking at inappropriate times. They have difficulty waiting their turn and find it hard to listen to directions. A child with this type of ADHD may have more injuries and/or accidents than others.
Combined ADHD Symptoms
The child with a Combined Type presents with symptoms found in both of the other forms where these symptoms stand out equally.
Causes of ADHD
Experts are not sure what causes ADHD. Studies reveal that a person’s risk of developing ADHD is higher if a close relative also has an ADHD diagnosis. Twin studies have indicated that ADHD is highly heritable. We also know that ADHD is much more common in boys than girls. Some studies have indicated that food additives, specifically some colorings, may have an impact on ADHD behaviors. The scientific community generally agrees that ADHD is biological in nature. Many reputable scientists believe ADHD is the result of chemical imbalances in the brain.
Most recognized forms of treatment include medication, therapy and/or a combination of the two. Current treatment guidelines recommend that children with mild to moderate symptoms of ADHD start with a behavioral/therapeutic approach and add medication only if necessary. It is recommended that those with severe symptoms consider medication as well as behavioral interventions concomitantly. Research indicates that children with ADHD who receive behavioral interventions along with parents who actively participate in treatment have the best outcomes. For more information on the ADHD treatment Main Line Counseling Partners experts provide please visit ADHD treatment.
One thing commonly acknowledged however is that raising a child with any degree of ADHD can be overwhelming and exhausting for the family. Parenting children with ADHD is exponentially more demanding than raising a typical child; it requires more physically, mentally, and emotionally. The support of a healthcare professional can help to make this process less stressful and more successful both in the school setting and home/community.
To speak with our child psychologist, Dr. Meghan Prato, you may choose a time below to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation.